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Rates Creep Up

June 16, 2008
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A recent survey and a rate increase could mean more competition for homes

Recent indication is that first time home buyers are getting tired of sitting on the sidelines. According to a recent online poll taken by the National Apartment Association, 17 percent of renters plan to make the jump to home ownership in the next year; 41 percent of the 2,041 respondents planned to be home owners within two years. Only 31 percent planned to still be paying rent five years from now.

Another factor that could very soon contribute to an increase in home buying could be rising mortgage costs. Fixed-rate mortgage rates rose to 6.32 percent, the highest it has been since October. After months of aggressively dropping interest rates, many lenders are worried that the Fed will be forced to raise rates back up. As interest rates rise, so do mortgage rates. According to a press release on freddiemac.com, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist said that, “Mortgage rates jumped this week after a number of Federal Reserve officials, most notably Chairman [Ben] Bernanke and Vice Chair [Donald] Kohn, expressed concern over a threat of inflation.” We may very well be seeing the beginning of the end of the super-low mortgage and potential buyers may realize that with rising rates, now may be the time to jump in. Nothaft added, “Moreover, pending home sales for April unexpectedly rose by 6.3% and mortgage applications for home purchases … were also up last week.”

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